CSci 2101: Data Structures.

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Course description: This class serves a dual purpose. You will gain knowledge of basic to intermediate data structures and algorithms that work on these structures. The course also serves as an introduction to the Java programmming language and through it to an object-oriented model of programming. The combination of Java with the abstract concepts of algorithms and data structures will allow us to explore implementation of these structures for future applications. The material includes beginning to intermediate Java concepts (methods, variables, objects and primitive types, inheritance, generic programming, exceptions), sorting and searching, randomization, big-Oh analysis, stacks, queues, lists, priority queues, trees, hashing and graphs (subject to change depending on the class's needs and pace).
5 credits.

On this page you will find information about:

Class meetings

When: M,W,F 3:30-4:35pm lecture, Tu 10-11:50am lab
Where: Sci 1030, Labs in Sci 2610.

Instructor and TA

Instructor: Elena Machkasova
Office: Sci 2325, Phone: 6308
Office hours: M,W,F 1:30-2:45pm, Tu,Th 1-2pm, or arrange by e-mail. My weekly schedule is on UMM google calendar, also see here.
elenam at

TAs (Teaching Assistants): Nathan Beneke, Zach Litzinger
TA hours: Tue 7-8pm in Sci 2610.

Textbooks and other resources

(available at the University bookstore).

In addition to the book I may occasionally assign extra reading material. Such materials will be available on the resources page. Problem sets and labs will be posted on the assignments page.

In addition, you must check your UMM e-mail frequently (at least once a day). I may send clarifications for problem sets by e-mail.


Grading policies and points breakdown:

Problem sets and labs 45%
In-class quizzes and class participation 5%
Midterm I 17%
Midterm II 17%
Final 16%

Class participation portion of the grade includes questions asked during the class, participation in discussion of the assigned reading materials (the textbook and the articles), and answering the instructor's questions during the class.

Grading policies

Basic Grading Scheme: (100-90)% A; (90-80)% B; (80-70)% C; (70-60)% D; below 60% F. Small adjustments may be made for particularly good final exams, class average and other signs of individual effort.

Official Grading Policies:

A achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements.
B achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements.
C achievement that meets the course requirements in every respect.
D achievement that is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements.
S achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better (achievement required for an S is at the discretion of the instructor but may be no lower than a C-).
F (or N) Represents failure (or no credit) and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an I (see also I)
I Incomplete. Assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, due to extraordinary circumstances, e.g., hospitalization, a student is prevented from completing the work of the course on time. Requires a written agreement between instructor and student.

Collaboration policies; Late and missed work policies

You are welcome to use any textbooks and/or online materials. If such materials made a substantial contribution to your homework assignment, please acknowledge the source and the exact contribution. If you plan to use extra sources for an exam (in-class or take home), please get my OK first. Otherwise such a use would be considered a violation of course policies.

If a problem set is submitted at (or before) the next class meeting after the due date, it is graded out of 3/4 credit. If it is submitted any time after the next meeting (until the last day to submit all late work - it will be announced in class), then it is graded out of 1/2 credit.

A take-home exam must be submitted on time, otherwise it will not be graded.


One credit is defined as equivalent to an average of three hours of learning effort per week (over a full semester) necessary for an average student to achieve an average grade in the course. For example, a student taking a four credit course that meets for three hours a week should expect to spend an additional nine hours a week on coursework outside the classroom.

Problem set collaboration policy:

Problem sets are individual work, unless specifically designated as work in groups. For guidelines on work in groups please see the syllabus. Discussion with students other than those in your group (or anyone not in this class) should be limited to general approaches to the problem. All such discussions as well as use of sources other than the textbook and the handouts given in class must be acknowledged in the beginning of the problem solution.

Accommodations for students with disabilities:

The University of Minnesota views disability as an important aspect of diversity, and is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

Additional information is available on the DRC website:, or e-mail hoekstra at morris dot umn dot edu.


University policy prohibits sexual harassment as defined by the University of Minnesota Regents' policy. In general, harassment or intimidation of others in the class for whatever reason is unacceptable (and hardly conducive to a successful learning environment).

Equity, diversity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action

The University provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs and facilities, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For more information, please consult Board of Regents Policy.

Regarding academic integrity

From the preface of UMM's Student Academic Integrity Policy:

Scholastic honesty is of fundamental importance to the functioning of any community of scholars. Although the pursuit of knowledge is always a communal project, individual academic achievement must be the result of a person's own efforts and abilities. Members of an academic community are responsible for their own personal and academic development and for fostering an academic climate in which all members draw from and give back to the community. The University is charged with implementing those policies which will help bring about such an academic climate. However, the ultimate responsibility for creating a community of scholars, in which mutual self-respect flourishes, lies with the individual members of the community. Each member must, therefore, act according to the highest standards of academic honesty.

Academic integrity is essential to a positive teaching and learning environment. All students enrolled in University courses are expected to complete coursework responsibilities with fairness and honesty. Failure to do so by seeking unfair advantage over others or misrepresenting someone else's work as your own, can result in disciplinary action. The University Student Conduct Code defines scholastic dishonesty as follows:

Scholastic Dishonesty: submission of false records of academic achievement; cheating on assignments or examinations; plagiarizing; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement.

Within this course, a student responsible for scholastic dishonesty can be assigned a penalty up to and including an "F" or "N" for the course. If you have any questions regarding the expectations for a specific assignment or exam, ask.

For more information see:

Regarding classroom conduct

Students are expected to interact with the instructor and other students with respect and courtesy. Students should attend every class session prepared to learn and work. Participation in class is expected, which includes both speaking up and listening. Give class your full attention while here. Complete all assignments, including the reading, in a timely fashion. Turn off cell phones and other electronic distractions during class so we may all better focus on the material. Students whose behavior is disruptive either to the instructor or to other students will be asked to leave. Students whose behavior suggests the need for counseling or other assistance may be referred to counseling services. Students whose behavior violates the University Student Conduct Code will be subject to disciplinary action.

Some relevant University Senate statements and policies